Volleyball Falls to No. 7 Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The No. 7 Florida volleyball team compiled a .370 hitting percentage in defeating Georgia Southern 3-0 (30-16, 30-25, 30-19) Friday afternoon at the 2007 Campus USA Credit Union Invitational.
“Florida’s a great team,” said GSU head coach Nicole McCray, “but I thought we came in and played our best game. We passed well against a great serving team and we actually had some blocks against their best hitters. To start off playing as well as we did, on the road, even though we lost, was good for us.”
The loss drops GSU to 2-3 on the season while the Gators improve to 3-0. The Eagles wrap up the evening with a match against No. 19 Santa Clara at 5:30 p.m.
McCray returned to Gainesville where she was the 2000 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. Among the players on the opposition today was her sister, senior outside hitter Amber McCray.
“I think they rose to the challenge,” said McCray about her young team. “I thought that they competed hard and played well. I did not think that we were intimidated or timid. I thought we came out and gave it all we had against a great team.”
Eight of the 14 players who took the court for GSU were true freshmen.
Game one was all Florida but game two was decidedly closer. Tied 8-8, the Gators took the lead for good, but was unable to shake the Eagles as a 23-17 advantage shrunk down to 23-21. A UF kill and an ace on the next two points proved to be too much.
“We got a different match-up that we wanted. I think it was all about the girls getting used to the gym and the flow of the game. Once they did that and settled down, it was a much different game.”
Whatever momentum GSU might have gained was lost as the Gators took the first seven points of game three en route to a decisive victory.
“In the third game we started off really slow,” added McCray. “When you’re down 9-1, it’s very hard to come back.”
Junior Bianca Julio (Curitiba, Brazil) led Georgia Southern with 10 kills and a team-high-tying 10 digs. Senior Flavia Pereira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) also had 10 digs.
Nine different players contributed to Florida’s 52 kills. Callie Rivers was the only one in double-figures with 10. The Gators had 7.5 blocks and seven aces.
“I think this builds character,” said McCray. “This lets them know that there are better players out there, but at the same time, if we stay together as a team, anything can happen. As long as we learn from this match, and learn that we have to pick up the dump, pick up the tips and anything easy teams give us, then I think we’ll be fine.”
- Category: Volleyball
- Published on Friday, 31 August 2007 00:17